Beauty School Students Call Their Internships a Ruse for Free Labor

, New Jersey Law Journal

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The suit, filed Nov. 12, names as defendants the school and its owner and principal, Anne Muenster-Sinton. The defendants have not yet filed answers. No lawyer has entered an appearance.

Muenster-Sinton did not return a phone message left at the school's administrative office. A person who answered the phone there said no one else was available to discuss the suit.

DeNittis's cocounsel are his partner, Joseph Osefchen, and Las Vegas attorney Leon Greenberg.

The three raised similar claims in a suit filed Nov. 12 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Jean Madeline Aveda Institute of Philadelphia.

The issue of unpaid internships gained a higher profile in June when U.S. District Judge William Pauley III, in the Southern District of New York, certified a class action against Fox Searchlight Pictures and held that the company violated the FLSA by not paying its interns. The ruling in that case, Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, is on appeal.

Pauley relied in part on a U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet describing when internships may be unpaid. Among other criteria set forth, an employer may not derive any benefit from an unpaid internship.

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